A zip code is a set of number codes that make up the system used by the US Postal Service. ZIP means Zone Improvement Plan and is devised to make mail travel more quick and efficient. The digits in the code represent the state, region, and sectional center facility of the address where the mail is being sent.
Aside from improving the quality of sending postal mail, ZIP codes also serve the following uses:
- Internal routing of packages sent through a delivery service. Courier services will not require senders to write a separate routing designator like the IATA code of the airport where the package will be sent. Writing the ZIP code will suffice.
- For statistical purposes. ZIP codes provide the U.S. Census Bureau with geographical statistical data.
- Direct mail marketing. The Zip codes that are provided by consumers in some of their purchases are gathered and analyzed to come up with data regarding purchasing patterns in each location.
- Establishment locator. You can input a ZIP code into an online establishment locator site and find the establishment you are looking for.
Since the use of Zip codes are not at all confined to postal mail purposes, lots and lots of people become aware of the need of getting detailed zip code boundary maps. Read on to know the steps on how to get one:
- Determine your Zip code. You can skip this step if you already know your Zip code. If not, you can go to the zip4.usps.com site of the US Postal Service. Enter your address in the form and submit. A result will come up with your Zip code number.
- Find an online Zip code boundary map generator. There are numerous resources found on the internet. You can visit zipmaps.net or USNavyguide.com.
- View the map. A map will be shown after you input your Zip code. The map will show the precise boundaries of that zip code area including the surrounding zip code areas. You can also view some major points of interest within the boundary.
- Use the map controls. There are map controls to the side of the map. If you are familiar with Google maps, then this should not be a problem at all. Use the controls to zoom in to have a closer view of the location. This will give you a more detailed perspective of the area. You can choose to either have a satellite, hybrid, or terrain view.
- Use the search box. There is a search box on the lower left of the map. Use this to search for a particular establishment within your Zip code area.
- Print if needed. Print the map should you ever need it. Do not look for a print option on the site though, because there is none. What you should do is to perform the old fashion way of clicking File in your browser's menu and Print.
Now that you have your Zip code and your detailed Zip code boundary map, you're all set and ready to go!